Edgar Davids explained one of the most surprising moves in recent English football yesterday. The former Netherlands midfielder, who played for Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus and both Milan sides, is now the joint head coach of Barnet, the bottom club in the Football League.
Davids has some experience of English football, having played for Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace. But he is not very keen on what he sees, and hopes to make a difference in his new role. "When I look at the English team and I see them play, I'm not a great fan," he said yesterday. "I know they have talent but it's not developing. It needs a lot of work."
"I played for Barcelona, for Ajax, where it's important to develop and integrate young talent. In this country, they need to think about that. Invest in youth. I played street soccer, that's where I started. If you look at South America, that's why they have technical players."
Personal ambition is also relevant here. Davids wants to build a managerial career and sees League Two football as a perfectly good place to start out. "Marco van Basten did it at an amateur level and there are a lot of coaches that started low," said Davids, who has been managing Sunday league side Brixton United.
"We will see if I have the capabilities of reaching the highest level. Do I want that? I saw [Pep] Guardiola and [Frank] Rijkaard when they started and saw them age with grey hair. I'm too good looking for that so want to stay here."
Davids will be working alongside existing manager Mark Robson, but does not foresee too many problems. "I believe Mark and I can pull it off. We will have some fights but the bottom line is to fight to get results."